BN.com Gift Guide

Costly Habits: Stories

Overview

A father on vacation nearly loses his eye on an ocean fishing pier while trying to escape the demands of his family. A systems analyst, embittered by the loss of his job and resentful of a seemingly carefree neighbor whom his estranged wife admires, becomes obsessed with catching squirrels in a box trap. A woman married to a former police detective festers with anger and plots revenge after a confrontation with a restaurant owner. A recent widower tries scuba diving with his difficult teenage ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $10.00   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Costly Habits: Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price
(Save 42%)$19.95 List Price

Overview

A father on vacation nearly loses his eye on an ocean fishing pier while trying to escape the demands of his family. A systems analyst, embittered by the loss of his job and resentful of a seemingly carefree neighbor whom his estranged wife admires, becomes obsessed with catching squirrels in a box trap. A woman married to a former police detective festers with anger and plots revenge after a confrontation with a restaurant owner. A recent widower tries scuba diving with his difficult teenage children as a way to galvanize the family and regain control of his life. These are some of the people who inhabit the richly textured worlds of Peter Makuck’s Costly Habits. In many of his stories, individuals find themselves in situations where moments of clarity arrive, moments that disclose perspectives of possible change or ways to accept things as they are.
Makuck skillfully portrays characters who experience various kinds of loss: loss of work, illusion, and self-respect; loss as a result of death, separation, or divorce. The relationships of siblings, husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and lovers provide the give-and-take that drives his narratives, many of which evoke images of coastal Carolina with eelgrass islands, jade waters, and sandy channels.
Peter Makuck’s stories are often humorous, but caring and wise, and deal with the costly habits of being materialistic, envious, narcissistic, fearful, judgmental, vengeful, obsessive, and altogether human. Depth of characterization and vivid detail make Costly Habits a compelling collection of short fiction.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The intellectual comfort of aesthetic life collides with pettiness and pop culture in a second collection (after Breaking and Entering, not reviewed) from poet Makuck. Settings and themes are diverse, and the de-emphasis on plot, perhaps, could reflect a poetic predisposition. In "Bound Away," the opener, two college students parking in front of a man’s house for a semester are either the embodiment of a hurricane on its way or quiet reminders of a happiness under the man’s nose. A boat-culture family in "Under the Azure Dee" finds that life is easier underwater, where "a huge billow of silversides flashes as they moved from right to left, turning precisely, as if they were scales on the flank of a single great fish, the act of each mysteriously integrated within the larger ballet of the school." "Existential Dirty Jokes" is about a man who attempts to process the likes of Hegel and Kierkegaard in a world of college basketball, overdoses, bears on the loose, and a girlfriend who says things like "Existentialism, the fucking absurd--don’t make me laugh! . . . You’re absurd! Diddley is what you fucking know!" The best of Makuck’s quick interlude stories is "Bereavement Flight," in which a man encounters more humanity from an airline ticket agent who books his flight to go to a friend’s funeral than from the party raging in his living room. And 22 cats slaughtered by Iowa football players, a retired vet who spends 95K on a wolfhound not even his, and a bichon named Fluff make a man in "Animal Planet" wonder who the real animals are. The people in Makuck’s world seem alarmingly lowbrow--indeed, the challenge of this world is to figure reasons to remain highbrow. Varied, often surprisingstories, culled from many years’ work, from the editor of Tar River Poetry.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826214461
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Makuck is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University, where he has edited Tar River Poetry since 1978. He is the author of an earlier collection of short stories, Breaking and Entering, and five volumes of poetry. His essays and reviews, stories and poems have appeared in the Hudson Review, the Sewanee Review, Poetry, and the Laurel Review. He lives with his wife, Phyllis, on Bogue Banks, one of North Carolina’s barrier islands.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Bound Away 1
Under the Azure Dee 20
Filling the Igloo 36
The Price of Dining Out 54
True Colors 72
Existential Dirty Jokes 79
Simple Misalignment 96
Palliatives 106
Costly Habits 121
Bereavement Flight 143
Animal Planet 148
Yellow Tom 159
Junk Trade 172
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)